China to start testing 5G in 16 major cities

Chinese regulators have given the green light to Chinese telecom operators to test 5G in major cities local media is reporting (in Chinese). State-run operators, also the largest three in China—China Unicom (中国联通), China Mobile (中国移动), China Telecom (中国电信)—will begin setting up 5G networks in 16 cities for testing. It is unclear when the tests will actually start.

China Unicom will begin testing 5G network in 16 cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Guiyang, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Fuzhou, Zhengzhou, and Shenyang.

China Mobile will conduct external field test and set up more than a hundred 5G base stations in each of the following five cities: Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, and Wuhan. The service operator will also conduct 5G network application demonstration in 12 cities including Beijing, Chengdu, and Shenzhen.

China Telecom will start testing in six cities including Xiong’an, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Suzhou, Chengdu, Lanzhou. The government is said to be pushing China Telecom to extend their testing operations to six more cities.

5G is instrumental to the development of many emerging technologies such as AR/VR, smart IoT, smart car. The US and China are vying to be the first to roll out 5G. Since the beginning of the year, China has begun downscaling its 2G services as telecom operators turn to more advanced 3G, 4G, and 5G technologies. Earlier this month China Unicom announced plans to shut down their 2G network.